V for Vagina: How well do you know this extraordinary part of the female anatomy?


Vagina Anatomy

The vagina is an elastic and muscular canal (with soft, flexible lining) that connects the uterus to the vulva.  Its main function is to receive the male sex organ (the penis) during sexual intercourse. It also serves as a passage for the flow of menstrual blood. During delivery, the baby also passes through the vagina.

The external part of the vagina is known as the vulva, which contains the external genital organs including

Mons pubis: This is a rounded mound of fatty tissue that encloses the pubic bone. Mons pubis contains glands that secrete pheromones.

Labia majora: These are the external lips (folds of tissue) of the vulva that are large and fleshy. Its function is to protect the other external sex organs. They contain glands which secrete lubricating fluids during intercourse.

Labia minora: These are the internal lips of the vulva that lie just beneath the labia majora. During sexual stimulation, the labia minora fills up with blood and swells, making it more sensitive.

Bartholin glands: These are two pea-sized glands located slightly posterior and to the left and right of the opening of the vagina.  These glands secrete a thick liquid that lubricates the vagina during sexual intercourse.

Clitoris: The clitoris is a small organ that is present at the top of the vulva. The clitoris, that is equivalent to the penis, becomes erect during sexual stimulation. Women usually experience orgasms when the clitoris is stimulated.

Different types of vulvas

Vulvas come in various shapes, sizes, and colors. How a vulva looks like generally depends on the position, shape, and size of the labia majora. Vulvas can be put under specific categories based on certain characteristics. Some of the most common types of vulvas are

Vulvas with asymmetrical inner lips

This is a type of vulva where one portion of the inner lips (labia minora) is not in symmetry with the other (one side usually hangs past the labia majora). It is a very common type of vulva.

Vulvas with curved outer lips

This is a type of vulva where the front portion of the labia minora is exposed due to the labia majora curing around in the shape of a horseshoe.

Vulvas with prominent outer lips

In this type of vulvas, the labia majora is very thick and prominent. In such cases, the outer lips tend to sit much lower. They can also look full or puffy.

Vulvas with prominent inner lips

This is believed to be the most common type of vulva. In this type, the labia minora is longer than the labia majora. Due to the difference in length, the labia minora tend to extend below the labia majora.

Vulvas with small, closed lips

This is the least common type of vulva, where the labia minora is completed hidden beneath the labia majora. This is the most desired vulva due to it being portrayed a lot in the pornographic industry.

Vulvas with small, open lips

This type of vagina is very similar to the one with closed lips. However, in this type of vulva, the vaginas are set further apart, exposing a little bit of the labia minora.

Vulvas with visible inner lips

In this type of vulva, the inner lips are visible due to the outer lips being open. The labia minora is usually visible through the entire length of the labia majora.

What is the labia’s usual length?

Although the length of the labia can vary from woman to woman, research has shown that

  • The labia majora (both) may be up to 12 centimeters (5 inches) long.
  • The left labia minora may be 10 centimeters (about 4 inches) long
  • The right labia minora is up to 10 centimeters (about 4 inches) long

Vagina Facts

  • Some women are born with hymens (a thin membrane covering the opening of the vagina).
  • Having sex does not stretch out the vagina
  • The muscles of the vagina can be strengthened with exercise
  • The vagina is self-cleaning
  • Vagina odors can change many times in a month
  • The clitoris is more sensitive than a penis
  • The vagina changes in size and shape during sexual arousal
  • Many women don’t get an orgasm during vaginal penetration
  • What you eat can affect the vagina odor
  • The vagina is tilted at roughly a 130-degree angle
  • Vaginas sometimes tear during childbirth
  • Some women have two vaginas
  • The vagina always has a little bit of yeast in it
  • The walls of the vagina are pleated

Why vulvas are darker compared to the rest of the body?

The sex organs in both males and females are a bit darker compared to the rest of the body.  Although the exact reason for this is not known there are several theories

  • One theory states that the pubic region is usually darker due to it being in constant friction. Since the genital region experiences a lot of friction, it may make itself thicker to protect itself. This is partly reflected in the color
  • According to another theory, the pubic area being dark was a natural defense mechanism when humans did not wear clothes. Since the skin around the pubic region is sensitive, making it darker would have protected it from the sun and its harmful rays when humans were naked. This is also the reason why we have pubic hair.
  • The darkening of the pubic region could be due to hormones during puberty. This is because sex hormones (estrogen and testosterone) regulate melanocytes that produce melanin cells.

Vulva Disorders

Several different types of infections and disorders can affect the vulva. Some of the most common ones are

Folliculitis

This is a condition that is characterized by small, red and sometimes painful bumps on the labia majora, where hair grows. Folliculitis is caused by bacteria that infect hair follicles. The infection happens due to shaving, waxing or skin irritation due to friction. Although it usually goes away by itself, you can speed up the process by wearing loose clothes and improving hygiene.

Contact dermatitis

This is a condition that is characterized by symptoms such as extreme itching, rawness, stinging, burning, and pain. This happens when the vulva is irritated by soaps, perfumes or fabric. Treatment generally includes stopping the use of the irritant. You can also apply some plain petroleum jelly to reduce irritation.

Bartholin gland cyst

This happens when the Bartholin gland gets blocked, leading to the formation of a cyst near the opening of the vagina. These cysts are generally not painful unless they’re infected. If the cyst is not infected then it can be treated by applying a warm compress to the affected area. However, if it is infected and an abscess (a painful collection of pus) has formed, you need to see a doctor, who will drain the cyst using a needle.

Lichen simplex chronicus

Lichen simplex chronicus is a condition that is characterized by thickened, scaly areas on the vulvar skin. These causes cause intense itching. Lichen simplex chronicus may result of contact dermatitis or other skin disorder that has been present for a long time. Treatment involves the use of steroid creams to stop the itching.

Lichen sclerosus

Lichen sclerosus is a skin condition that makes the vulvar skin appear thin, white, and crinkled. This can cause itching, burning, and pain during sex. The exact cause of this condition is unknown but it is believed an overactive immune system or an imbalance of hormone may be responsible. Postmenopausal women are at a higher risk of developing Lichen sclerosus. Lichen sclerosus is also treated by steroid creams.

Lichen planus

This is a skin disorder that usually affects the mucous membranes of the mouth. However, sometimes it also affects the skin of the genitals. Symptoms include itching, soreness, burning and abnormal discharge from the vagina. Lichen planus may also cause white streaks on the vulvar skin. Although there is no cure for this condition, symptoms can be controlled by medicated creams or ointments, vaginal tablets, prescription pills or injections.

Vulvar Intraepithelial Neoplasia

This condition is characterized by the development of benign neoplasia (abnormal growth of tissue) on the vulva. Some of the symptoms include itching, burning, or abnormal skin that may be bumpy, smooth, or a different color. Treatments for this condition include creams, laser treatment, or surgery.

Genital herpes

This is a sexually transmitted disease that is caused by the herpes simplex virus. Genital herpes can cause pain, itching, and sores in your vulva.  However, sometimes you may not have any symptoms. This is no cure for this STD but certain medications can help reduce the symptoms and stop it from being contagious.

Yeast infection

These are very common in women, with 3 out of 4 women getting this at least once in their lifetime. This infection occurs when Candida, a fungus that normally works with other microorganisms in harmony, begins to over multiply and invades the vaginal tissue. The most common symptoms include itching, vaginal discharge, burning in vagina, pain, and inflammation. This condition can be treated by applying antifungal ointments or taking an antifungal drug. Ointments are generally preferred as they act quickly compared to oral drugs.

Misconceptions about vulvas

Despite the overall understanding of the human body improving, there are still many misconceptions. It is no different when it comes to vulvas

Vulvas are diverse

This is a common misconception as people feel all vulvas should look similar. This is mostly due to the pornography industry, which gives people wrong ideas about how a vulva should look like. But what people don’t understand is that porn can be misleading.

Losing your virginity means your hymen should pop

This is another widely spread misconception where people believe the hymen is an indicator of a virgin woman. The hymen can rupture even if you are not involved in any sexual activity (including masturbation). You can simply rupture your hymen by exercising, running or playing sports.

Pubic Hair should be removed to maintain hygiene

The pornography industry is again to blame for this one as it has spread another lie by displaying only shaved genitals. Contrary to popular belief, pubic hair actually has a lot of hygiene benefits, like keeping harmful pathogens out of your vagina. Furthermore, pubic hair also improves a woman’s sex life as pubic hair heightens sexual sensitivity.

Want to live a healthy lifestyle?

Subscribe to free FactDr newsletters.

REVAMP YOUR

If you're enjoying our website, we promise you'll absolutely love our new posts. Be the first one to get a copy!

Get factually correct, actionable tips delivered straight to your inbox once a week.

I want the latest scoop on :

We hate spam too. We will never share your email address with anyone. If you change your mind later, you can unsubscribe with just one click

By clicking Subscribe, I agree to the FactDr Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of FactDr subscriptions at any time.

Test Your Knowledge

Welcome to your Penis pumps

Penis pumps can be used to treat the following conditions:
What do penis pumps help with?
It is safe for people on blood thinners to use a penis pump.
Which of the following can help you use a penis pump more effectively?
Being overweight can adversely impact getting an erection.
Studies indicate ___ % of men are satisfied with the results of using penis pumps.

Take the full quiz

 

 

 

Trending Topics

anal sex
Anal Sex : Tips from experts on how to be kinky yet safe Whether it irks you or stokes your fantasies, anal sex has always been an intriguing…
Clitoris: Why is it called the gateway to toe-curling female orgasms? The word clitoris comes from the Greek word kleitoris or “little hill.”  Many compare the…
Chromium Picolinate: An essential mineral supplement for faster weight loss Did you know that about 1.6 million deaths were directly linked to diabetes globally? How…
Find the G spot: The top sex positions that guarantee an orgasm There has been a long debate as to whether the G-spot actually exists as a…
diverticulitis diet
Diverticulitis diet: The right way to eat if you suffer from the disease Are you suffering from diverticultis but clueless about your diet ? Read this complete plan…
Penis pump: Pump your way out of erectile dysfunction One of the options to treat erectile dysfunction is by the use of a penis…
passion fruit juice
Passion fruit: How one exotic fruit can help you fight infections and cancer! Passion fruit: Why does this exotic fruit have such an enticing name? And how can…
Organic Foods: Is the popularity of pesticide-free food justified? What does the term "organic" really means? And why are organic foods credited as being…
Maltitol: Things you must know about this artificial sweetener Sugar alcohols are produced by fruits and vegetables. Maltitol is an artificially produced sugar alcohol…
CBC blood test
CBC blood test CBC blood test refers to the complete blood count test that measures the number of…
calories healthy
Calories: How to keep a check on these for faster weight loss Did you know you can burn calories while sleeping? Calorie-burning is what causes weight loss.…
Vitamin b12
Vitamin B12 Test Vitamin b12 is an essential nutrient required for healthy functioning of the nervous system and…
Female Masturbation: Tips on how to turn up the heat during a solo mission As a female, do you find yourself constantly wondering as to what is the best…
The science behind daith piercing: Can it really cure migraine? Since the ear has several pressure points, it is believed that daith piercing activates the…
Atkins diet weight loss
Atkins Diet: The right steps to carb control that can help you lose those pounds fast The Atkins diet is a high fat, low-carb diet with proven weight loss benefits that…
Stye : The best natural home remedies to ease the pain Styes developing inside the eyelid tend to be more painful whereas external styes are less…
Astaxanthin: Why experts believe it could be 550x more potent than vitamin E! What is astaxanthin and why is this new supplement on the block touted as the…
Top 6 remedies to treat a razor burn at home Symptoms of razor burn include bumps on the skin, redness, and irritation of the skin.…
Milk Thistle skin
Milk Thistle: Find possible cures for fatal diseases in these purple blooms Milk thistle is well-known for treating liver conditions. However, did you know that it comes…
eating disorder anorexia
Eating Disorders: Lifestyle choice or a psychological condition? Is eating disorder just a harmless bad habit? Or does it represent grim psychological disorders?…
hidden benefits walking
9 benefits of walking we bet you didn’t know! Did you know walking can be the miracle pill for eternal youth? Everyone knows walking…
Lectin: The common link of proteins between peas and people Lectins are a type of protein that are found majorly in legumes. Most people are…
alcohol toxic
7 startling facts that will make you quit alcohol today Does drinking really make you friendly and happy? How many calories does a can of…
waterchestnut
Water Chestnuts: The tastiest ways to include this healthy tuber in your diet Water chestnut is not a nut after all. It is a tuber (much like the…
social media adddiction
Your health in the age of Social Media: Why is digital detox a necessity? Did you know that more than 400 million people are dangerously addicted to social media?…
Salt dangers
Sodium chloride: The wonders and dangers of the simple table salt Sodium chloride is a salt containing sodium and chlorine ions at a 1:1 ratio. It…
How to scrub away stress and fatigue with an Epsom salt bath? Epsom salt is a popular home remedy for many skin ailments. Though there is a…
Vitamin K2: 8 reasons why you need this bone-building & cancer-fighting nutrient Vitamin K2 is claimed to be essential for your bone health, for reducing the risk…
TBHQ: A carcinogen lingering in your child’s favorite snacks TBHQ - Why you should shun the practice of eating instant noodles or microwave popcorn…
Jicama: A fiber-rich tuber for your weight loss goals Pronouced as HEE-kah-ma, Jicama is the "new kid on the block" that has taken the…
Improve sex life
9 best tips from around the world for better sex life How can the pungent-smelling garlic pack in a punch to your libido? How could something…
maltodextrin sugar
Maltodextrin: What are the hidden health benefits of this food additive? Maltodextrin is one of the few food additives that has been relatively deemed safe. Many…
Juice Plus: Can you really replace actual fruits with pills?  Juice Plus supplements intend to fill nutritional gaps present in our daily diet. But how…
Piaget stages: Do they accurately describe the way the human brain develops?  A common assumption was that children are less competent thinkers as compared to adults, but…
liver detox facts
7 liver detox facts and why ignoring these could kill you! Are you taking care of this organ that handles over 500 different vital functions in…
erectile dysfunction treatment
Erectile Dysfunction: Effective tips to help you get back on charge Erectile dysfunction is a common male sexual dysfunction. Don't stress out. Just follow these amazing…
Silicon Dioxide: How can a component of sand be essential to your wellbeing? Silicon is one of the most abundant elements in the nature. Find out how silicon…
Trisodium Phosphate: How a paint thinner made its way into your breakfast Ever thought how toxic chemicals find their way into our foods? How can they harm…
Hydroquinone: Is it the best topical treatment for hyperpigmentation? Darkening of the skin due to high melanin levels is called hyperpigmentation.  Hydroquinone interferes with melanin…
dance health benefits
5 unbelievable effects of dance on your overall health! You enjoy dancing, but did you know what else it does to your body? Dancing…
yoga health benefits
How to practice yoga for astounding health benefits Can a 5000-year-old system be the ultimate body healer? Did you know yoga can make…
occupational hazards types
Occupational Hazards: How to vouch for your health at your workplace Occupational hazards affect millions worldwide. Chemical spills, faulty wires, deadly pathogen, and work-stress can happen…
Spirulina: Battle diabetes and cholesterol with this blue-green algae Spirulina, a species of salt water algae, has now become a billion dollar industry. How…
CLA: A breakthrough weight loss supplement with minimal side effects Tried every weight loss supplement in the market with no substantial gain? Why not try…
Electric toothbrush vs manual toothbrush: Who wins the dental war? Manual brushes are ideal for kids as it is important to start slowly unlike the…
MANUKA HONEY child
Manuka Honey Manuka honey is a specific type of honey produced by honey bees that collect nectar…
Garlic health benefits cloves
Garlic: Nature’s white pill as an effective home remedy What are the secrets hidden in these tiny white pills? Find out the immense health…
Anhedonia: Does the chronic inability to feel joy affect you too? How often do you feel dragged down by an invisible force? Do you feel an…
How seitan proved to be a blessing in disguise for vegans worldwide Can only meat-eaters enjoy delicious juicy steaks and burgers? With seitan, the best meat substitute…
Tamarind: The top health benefits of this staple Asian ingredient Did you know this sweet and sour pulpy fruit does more than just add a…
How do neutrophils protect you from fatal bacterial attacks? During an infection, certain enzymes alert the mature neutrophils.  Neutrophils then travel through the bloodstream…
RHABDOMYOLYSIS muscle cramps
The hidden dangers of magnesium deficiency and how you can prevent it Magnesium is an essential mineral for the body.Its deficiency can cause harm to your vital…
hidden causes obesity
8 hidden causes of obesity you probably didn’t know! Did you know that around 2 billion people worldwide are either overweight or obese? Are…
lifestyle diseases
The Big 5 lifestyle diseases: How your everyday living might be killing you You'd be shocked to know how unhealthy and potentially fatal your everyday routine could be.…
carrageenan seaweed
Carrageenan: How a simple seaweed extract could better your gut health & immunity Eat more ice cream to prevent cold and flu? –With carrageenan you get one simple…
tips for perfect sleep
Stop hitting the snooze button: 8 proven steps to perfect sleep Are you tired of not getting enough sleep? All your efforts for a sound sleep…
Amaranth: Why is this native Peruvian grain called the “crop of the future”? Full of healthy high proteins and gluten-free, the grain, Amaranth, the tasty and ancient pseudo…
Pescatarian Diet 101: What are the inherent health advantages of this diet? People opt to become a pescatarian in order to enrich their bodies with the essential…
Aphrodisiacs
Aphrodisiacs: These are the best foods to get you in the right mood While wine and chocolates have forever been associated with romance, there are several other aphrodisiac…
What is the eustachian tube and how does it help you maintain body balance? Pressure equalization, mucus drainage and protecting the middle ear from bacteria and viruses are the…
How accurate is the hair follicle drug test? Hair follicle drug test is one of the best ways to identify drug use in…
Quinine: How gin and tonic came to be known as a potent health elixir The discovery of quinine-containing tree bark is sometimes considered the most serendipitous medical discovery of…
Orgasms: How to perfect the art of achieving intense bursts of pleasure (every time!) Orgasms are dependent not just on the sexual activity but on your partner as well.…
These are the top foods to increase your hemoglobin count It is important to add iron-rich foods into your diet in order to increase hemoglobin. Deficiency…
autoimmune diseases facts
Autoimmune Diseases: Find out if your body is attacking you right now Did you know your body can harm itself? What are autoimmune diseases and why does…
kefir bottle
Kefir: Top reasons why this probiotic drink should be consumed by you Yet another remarkable fermented food, kefir is a much healthier version of yogurt. These chewy…
lgbtqia
LGTBQIA : Important pointers for a safe and healthy sex life In the USA alone, the LGBTQIA community accounts for 11 million people. Let us understand…
10 reasons why you should up your selenium intake Selenium, though a trace mineral, is very much integral to your health. Find out how…
What is the average penis size and why should you care? Scientifically speaking, the average size of the penis depends on numerous factors such as genes,…
V for Vagina: How well do you know this extraordinary part of the female anatomy? Vagina - a simple part of the human anatomy that has often created a feeling…
nature health benefits
Green Healing: The amazing health benefits of being in nature You have no idea what sitting in a closed room does to your body and…
about mediterranean diet
Why you should be adopting a Mediterranean style of diet today Ever wondered why the Mediterranean diet is so healthy? One simple solution to lowering risk…
sugar toxic health
Sugar: 7 new shocking truths revealed about the sweet poison Can drinking soda bring you closer to death? Is sugar slowly poisoning you and your…
boost immunity tips
Step up your defence: 15 proven tips on how to boost your immunity Want to naturally build up a stronger immunity? Tired of frequent colds and runny nose?You…
Fluoride: An indispensible mineral or a potential toxin ? Fluoride, the main ingredient of toothpaste, has shown a great potential as a cleanser. However,…
vital organ diseases
Common diseases that could cripple your vital organs Brain, heart, kidney, lungs, and liver - these vital organs are indeed vital for your…
avocado benefits
Avocado: 15 reasons why this fruit should be a staple in your diet Did you know that the word avocado literally means "testicles". Don't get grossed out as…
dandelion health benefits
Dandelion: Little parachutes of health and wellness for your whole body Dandelions are not just bright looking blossoms that cheer your mind. These are powerpacked with…
Magnesium depression
Citrate or Oxide: Which magnesium supplement is best for your body? Magnesium : Does your DNA require some repair works? Or bones and muscles need some…
How to correctly perform nasal irrigation using a Neti Pot? Neti pot has been a part of Ayurveda since centuries. This ancient tool is extremely…
Mood swings
The real reasons for your mood swings and how to overcome them Are you prone to heated moods frequently? Do you also feel bouts of depressive feeling…
Essential oils: Choose the right one based on your need Essential oils can effectively treat the triggers causing migraines and address the root cause of…
PiYo (Pilates + Yoga): Bringing you the best of both the worlds PiYo exercise routine was formulated for people who find it tedious and grueling exercise regimens…
stress depressed anxiety
Are you depressed or just stressed? Know when to see a doctor Why are some people more anxious than others? Is being depressed the same as feeling…

Related Posts

Want to live a healthy lifestyle?

Subscribe to free FactDr newsletters.

REVAMP YOUR

If you're enjoying our website, we promise you'll absolutely love our new posts. Be the first one to get a copy!

Get factually correct, actionable tips delivered straight to your inbox once a week.

I want the latest scoop on :

We hate spam too. We will never share your email address with anyone. If you change your mind later, you can unsubscribe with just one click

By clicking Subscribe, I agree to the FactDr Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of FactDr subscriptions at any time.

Test Your Knowledge

Welcome to your Penis pumps

Penis pumps can be used to treat the following conditions:
What do penis pumps help with?
It is safe for people on blood thinners to use a penis pump.
Which of the following can help you use a penis pump more effectively?
Being overweight can adversely impact getting an erection.
Studies indicate ___ % of men are satisfied with the results of using penis pumps.

Take the full quiz